American Democratic Support to Ghana’s Fourth Republic: Assistance or Encumbrance?

Isaac Owusu-Mensah


The end of the Cold War ushered the world into a new sphere of democratic governance.  Citizens in developing countries began actively contributing to the democratic process by demanding probity and accountability within existing governance structures. The international donor community complimented their efforts by responding to the challenges of the new ‘wave’ of democratisation in the late 1980s by embracing democracy assistance as a core priority.  In January 1993, Ghana inaugurated its Fourth Republic – a transition fraught with challenges that continue to blight the development of a democratic culture.  In response to these challenges, the American Government stepped in, with financial and technical support, to assist Ghana in mitigating the stalling of democratic development. While democracy aid has been caught in a myriad of criticism regarding such issues as conditionalities, through the use of matched-area comparison, it is concluded that the USAID-initiated ECSELL and GAIT programmes have positively increased local level democratisation in Ghana by strengthening the capacities and abilities of civil society.

Key Words: America, Ghana, Democracy, Democratic Support, Civil Society.

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